Patricky Pitbull vs. Jaleel Willis Off Bellator 249

Patricky Pitbull and Jaleel Willis Bellator 249
Patricky Pitbull and Jaleel Willis Credit: Bellator MMA

Bellator 249 lost its co-main event shortly before the main card was set to begin.

During the preliminary card broadcast on Thursday, promotion officials announced that Patricky Pitbull vs. Jaleel Willis had been removed from the event.

The reason appears to be a medical issue suffered by Pitbull (Patricky Freire), which has not been disclosed at this time. However, the Mohegan Tribal Athletic Commission would not clear him to compete.

According to a report by MMA Junkie, Bellator will compensate both Pitbull and Willis. No details on the nature of that compensation were given. However, Willis missed weight on Wednesday for the bout, his first as part of a new contract recently signed with the promotion by the LFA champ. As a result, he would normally forfeit a portion of his fight purse to his opponent.

Willis exceeded the lightweight limit by a full three pounds at weigh-in.

Pitbull (23-9) last fought in December under the RIZIN Fighting Federation banner, going all the way to the final of their lightweight grand prix. In the finale at RIZIN 20, however, Pitbull lost a unanimous decision to Tofiq Musayev.

The defeat snapped a seven fight win streak for the Brazilian, who had earned wins over the likes of Benson Henderson, Josh Thompson, Roger Huerta, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and others.

In the absence of Pitbull vs. Willis, the heavyweight bout between Steve Mowry and Shawn Teed has been promoted to the main card. Mowry is an undefeated prospect who enters the fight at 7-0 as a pro. Teed has shared the cage with the likes of Juan Adams and Chris Daukaus, the latter a current UFC heavyweight.

Update: Bellator officials confirmed following the event that Pitbull was suffering from labyrinthitis